The way people spend their time is reflective of the wealth of a society. For example, the Romans under the leadership of Caligula were famous for their wealth and associated debauchery. In many ways, American society is approaching many of these same extremes. Using Maslow’s hierarchy, I’m certain that there are many more Americans searching for “self-actualization” than those in India living as “untouchables”.
As a one way of illustrating the current emphasis on self-actualization, our American society places a premium on ways to avoid being bored. The demand is so high for sporting events, theatre, and other entertainment that tickets for these events often exceeds $100 per person.
However, the leading indicator of a rich society losing focus is the emphasis on “causes”. Take a step back and watch the news that describes various people supporting “animal rights”, or stopping “global warming”, or “free health care for everyone”, or whatever. If these are the issues that people consider so essential for their time, what does that say about the wealth of a society?
Is it just boredom?